Biomechanics & Digital Human Modeling

Digital human models (DHM) are computer representations of humans that allow to simulate the interaction of the digital human with a virtual product or environment. Since their introduction in the 1960s, enormous progress has been made but it is still a very active research area due to the complex nature of the human body. A variety of DHM software tools are currently available to efficiently incorporate human factors early-on in the design process and they are used to improve function, fit, and comfort of products in e.g. automotive, aviation, defense, fashion, sports, and medical industries.

This course focuses on two emerging DHM areas: 3D anthropometry and biomechanical modeling and simulation, with a focus on the musculoskeletal system (MSK). The course will start with an overview of the function of bones, muscles, and tendons of human body and introduce basic biomechanical concepts. In a flipped classroom setting, students will familiarize themselves with the range of available DHM technologies and tools. Through example cases and a group assignment, students will learn to analyze (dynamic) human-product interactions, how to optimize them using DHMs, and finally how to set up a physical validation study to validate design choices. Example cases include optimizing bicycle seat height and improving respiratory mask fit. Typical products that are treated are tools, supports (chairs and beds), shoes, wearables, and medical equipment.

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